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The Art of Beauty by Linda Mason
Mon-Sat, 10:30am-6:30pm; Sun, closed
Nearby Subway Stops
A, C, E at Canal St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Linda Mason's colorful, freewheeling space isn't so much a makeup studio as it is an interactive art gallery where cosmetics are the chosen medium. Palettes of blushes, eye shadows, and lip glosses grouped by nature's four elements and the astrological signs are strewn throughout the shop, encouraging browsers and workshop students to buck conventional makeup rules with Yellow Fire gloss or Tulip pink brow color; hand mirrors and irregular reflective shards on the walls allow guest face painters to admire their work. A makeup artist to stars and designers like Cameron Diaz and Jean Paul Gaultier who has been working since the late sixties, Mason left Paris and opened her Soho shop in 1998 as a place to fuse her contemporary paintings and her makeup artistry. Her portraits, with their exaggerated wide-set eyes, tropical colors, and Warhol-meets-Francesco-Clemente vibe, are stamped on everything from scarves and tees (strung like laundry above a distressed makeup table) to canvas cosmetic bags and tool belts that hold stiffer-than-average brushes in place. Shrunken versions appear on the lids of her compacts and on Mason Method Kits, mini portable palettes that are designed for mixing and layering—and bringing out your inner artist.
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